Ardnamurchan releases spirit like clockwork, in anticipation of their final whisky. This Warehouse Release Batch 5 matured for a year on smaller oloroso octaves. That explains the lovely, coppery color.
While the nose is still quite spirity, it does not small like new make. The small sherry cask has clearly put its foot down. I get tobacco leaves, plums, but also a hint of rotting plants and a recently doused barbecue. Not completely pleasant, but not off-putting either. This spirit is clearly still underway – doh! – but it is going down the right path.
On the palate, it’s all very alcoholic and rough. The sherry has not yet shaved of the edges. And while I already detect some dark and sweet notes, the taste is dominated by wood shavings, sour candy, overripe kiwi and some bubblegum. It is quaffable without water.
Lots of spices kick in – cubeb pepper and even some mustard seeds – in the finish. And grainy wood. But it’s nicely warm!
Promising, but still has a long way to go. I believe the distillery releases this only to keep the fans happy and to allow the brand to remain on the radar. That’s fine by me.